Last January 21, 2013, the University recorded its first theft incidence in the third term.
Student Joaquin Flores, II CAM, lost his bag, which contained valuable electronic gadgets, at the Yuchengco lobby, during the Lasallian Media Week (LMW).
In the aforementioned student’s report to the Security and Safety Office (SSO), Flores said that he left his bag along with the bags of members of the Student Media Office (SMO) to post promotional posters. Upon arrival, Flores discovered that his bag was missing and immediately inquired if anyone had seen his bag.
Flores recounts that the other event organizers said that they did not see anyone take his bag. He speculates that the theft may have been a passerby and went to the SSO to find look at the Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), which may help him find the culprit.
To his dismay, Flores found out that the Yuchengco lobby area did not have a CCTV camera.
While the University has a series of CCTV cameras, most are located near computer laboratories to prevent theft of electronics, which has happened in the past.
As such, most of the ground floors of all buildings do not have CCTV cameras, which may be put to good use especially in cases of theft. Security and Safety Office Director DionisioEscarez explains that his office has used the CCTV cameras in the past as proof of offenses, which include theft, committed by some students.
Escarez adds that his office has determined key areas, which need CCTV cameras, and acknowledges that the University needs to install more CCTV cameras to ensure the safety of its students. His office, however, does not handle the acquisition of the cameras since funding, at least for the first CCTV cameras, came from Parents of the University Student Organization (PUSO).
The aforementioned parents organization donated the first five CCTV cameras at De La Salle University (DLSU). As of presstime, PUSO has yet to receive a request from the University for additional CCTV funding.
One key concern that has limited SSO’s capacity to provide CCTV cameras in high-risk areas is the issue of privacy. Before the cameras were installed, several students raised that the cameras would violate their privacy. He recalls that a student argued that the installation of new cameras for security would limit their freedom to move around the University.
Times and perception have, however, changed as more students are asking for more CCTV cameras.
In addition to the privacy concern, Escarez says that some of the cameras are already outdated while several need maintenance. He also adds that they have already submitted a proposal to the administration to fix and update some of the cameras located inside the campus, but funding concerns have long delayed some of the much-needed developments.
Moreover, the SSO recently reported that the CCTV camera wires were damaged by construction activities inside the University. Escarez quickly adds though that the University is in the process of repairing some of the broken CCTV cameras.
In the recently held PAASCU accreditation talk at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, organizers mentioned that they told the PAASCUaccreditors that the University has a new CCTV system that would ensure the security of the students.
Dean of Student Affairs (DSA) Fritzie Ian De Vera verifies that there are plans to add and improve the University’s CCTV system.
Archers’ Eye and CCTV not the same?
The University also has another monitoring system, which was launched in two years ago. The live-video streaming facility dubbed Archers’ Eye is a live camera feed that can be accessed through the DLSU’s website domain.
As of the moment, the University currently has eight cameras, one at the Br. Andrew building, Razon Sports Center, Gokongwei Hall, Velasco Hall, Estrada Street North gate, South gate and one near theLeveriza gate.
The project, conceptualized by the Academics and Administration Coordination Council (AACC), however, was installed to monitor flood and traffic conditions outside the University, and falls short in securing the safety of students from theft.
Escarez ends that students should really be more careful, and though his office can do much, the best way to address the problem is prevention.